Everyone's a Kid at Heart
When we were kids, the Magic 8 Ball was “the end all be all” of authority. Just like when the Godfather, Don Corleone, gave his final word, whatever the answer the plastic ball gave us was the answer. Period. Of course we would cheat if we didn’t get the answer we wanted by posing the question differently in order to get a second chance. Most of the time, we could manipulate the answers but if the answer we wanted came up immediately, we knew that meant it was for REAL.
Many years later, when I was in advertising, one of the media buyers, Susan, had a Magic 8 Ball on her desk. Being thrilled to see one after all those years, I picked it up and shook it excitedly. Susan said, “Whoa, whoa! You can’t shake the ball like that. How would you like it if you were shaken and then demanded to answer a question? You need to caress it, talk slowly and clearly when asking the question and wait patiently for the answer.” She was dead serious. And you better believe I never shook a Magic 8 Ball ever since.
So the other day when I was getting pinches for some of my son’s friends at Creative Kidstuff Toy Store. Magic 8 Balls were on display by the cash register. The slogan on the packaging says, “Solving Life’s Dilemmas Since 1950!” and “There are 20 possible answers: Most Likely, No, My Sources Say No, Signs Point to Yes, Ask Again Later, Reply Hazy Try Again, etc.” Admit it, we all wanted “Outlook Good” at some point in our lives. And so I put two Magic 8 Balls onto the counter to purchase. One for my friend Christy who just turned fifty years old and the other I’m hoarding for someone who will get good use out of it. I had envisioned Christy bringing it to work so that her co-workers and clients could ask away. It was a fun pinch, however, I didn’t think it was enough. I wanted to give her more.
I promise you that I wasn’t looking for anything else for Christy while I was in the toy store but before I could even ponder another gift idea, I saw this:
I couldn’t resist and bought the board with the color letter pack to go with the Magic 8 Ball. I mean, doesn’t every fifty year old woman need these toys to remind her how young she is? I felt very confident in my choices until I was driving to bring Christy the gifts. Suddenly I panicked and thought, “This is either going to be great or it’s going to be a giant miss.” I’m grateful that Christy has a grace about her that allowed her to receive these childish gifts with an open mind and appreciation.
At this point, one would think that I was done shopping for my friends at the toy store (remember I went there to get gifts for ten year old boys) but I found more treasures! I don’t make it a practice to try to buy all my friends who are forty and older gifts at toy stores but while I was looking at the fun pop-sockets, I saw this unicorn pop-socket. It reminded me of my friend Reena, whose forty-ninth birthday I totally spaced. Reena, is rare and one-of-a-kind and she lives among the flowers and the moon. I had to get her the pop-socket. She is also an avid music lover so when I saw these headphones I thought they would be perfect for her because although she is a complete dog lover, she is as cool as a cat. The headphones are sparkly but they’re blue so they’re not too girly, which she totally noted. Sorry for the links, but I gave these pinches to Reena before remembering to take pictures.
I find it fascinating that for Christy, who is super current and knows all about the trends because she has kids in college, I bought throw-back toys. For Reena, who is super old-school (she is not on social media at all and her taste in music is totally 80’s), I bought Millennial must-haves. It just goes to show, keeping an open mind and being light-hearted, could lead to the purchase of thoughtful pinches without thinking about an age limit or (even more importantly), an agenda. Just unexpected fun found at an unexpected venue.
Before I go, I wanted to give full disclosure: I just received the book entitled, “The Golden Rules of Blogging (& When to Break Them)” for my birthday. In the book, it states “Rule #14 Killer Headlines are Essential.” Understandably, I wanted to have a fitting title for this entry but Adult Toys or Toys for Adults were very misleading. Imagine the search engines having a field day with those keywords! Boy, did it take me forever to come up this title!
”The Golden Rules of Blogging (& When to Break Them)” is by Robin Houghton